YANSS - The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight

  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Aug 24, 2011 3:23 AM GMT
    Love reading "You Are Not So Smart"

    The Misconception: You celebrate diversity and respect others’ points of view.

    The Truth: You are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.

    "You see your friends, your family, your coworkers and peers as semipermeable beings. You label them with ease. You see them as the artist, the grouch, the slacker and the overachiever. “They did what? Oh, that’s no surprise.” You know who will watch the meteor shower with you and who will pass. You know who to ask about spark plugs and who to ask about planting a vegetable garden. You can, you believe, put yourself in their shoes and predict their behavior in just about any situation. You believe every person not you is an open book. Of course, the research shows they believe the same thing about you."


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    Aug 24, 2011 3:38 AM GMT

    Allow me to elucidate (though briefly, at least for me - I'm procrastinating on a project right now):

    I went to the link you posted and read of the experiment with the boys at the camp. This is riddled with problems, the main one being that these were not blank slates the experimenters were working with - they had been immersed in a culture (probably the same one, and I'm guessing American) for 11 or 12 years before this experiment took place. They absorbed all the cultural norms of that society and brought those with them to the camp. Also, the experimenters _steered_ the boys towards a competitive solution, not a cooperative one. Of course you'll get data that point toward an innate competitive nature if you take 44 American (emphasis on competition and "getting ahead") young adolescent (ruled by reptilian brain) males (testosterone plus the bullshit about being "manly" that comes from their culture) and set up a false scarcity scenario where the only proposed solution is competition!

    As for the idea that we think we know people better than they know us, perhaps true. Though I don't much see how the two tie together. It's a big leap the author makes from "children revert to savages" to "you think you know people but don't know yourself." I think NO ONE ever truly sees another person clearly - we all see through our own lenses. Indeed, I'm not sure we can even see OURSELVES clearly.

    In summary, it's a thought-provoking topic, but I found some of the research underpinning his assertion to be shoddy. To be fair, I started skimming toward the latter third of the piece due to lack of time.
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    Aug 24, 2011 3:56 AM GMT
    Whoever said I respect the point of view of others???
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    Aug 24, 2011 6:34 AM GMT
    Sounds awfully exhausting to constantly try to juggle every person you know in amorphous, philosophically transient and undefinable terms so as to avoid the danger of cubby holing. My aunt Fanny makes pies. That's what she does. I'm too busy trying to grasp ME to allot her a space in my mind that goes beyond that.